Whether it’s a movie or a sweet memory from your holiday, the backdrop always plays an important part. The beautiful backdrops shot in the Bollywood movies have always inspired us to plan a trip to those destinations, especially when they are shot in India. And honestly, Bollywood Motion pictures contribute a lot to the tourism industry. I instantly wanted to plan a trip to Ladakh after watching the last scene of 3 Idiots shot near the Pangong Lake, where Farhan and Raju finally catch hold of Rancho. Some how the best holiday destinations in India always end up being a part of the most memorable scenes in Bollywood movies.
Here are the top 10 Holiday destinations in India that have wowed audiences into booking their tickets to these locations.
1. Chapora Fort and Fort Aguada, Goa
Chapora Fort and Fort Aguada in north Goa were built in years 1617 and 1612 respectively. Chapora Fort, situated on a hill close to Morjim beach, is the location where Akash, Sameer, and Sid in Dil Chahta Hai have the iconic dramatic talk. Fort Aguada, on the other hand, was where the cast of Honeymoon Travels went during their day tour. These locations are memorable for creating a beautiful backdrop for a lot of your favourite movies. They have also been featured prominently in Bollywood blockbusters like Dhoom, Golmaal, Rangeela, and many more. Goa indeed comes in the list of the coolest holiday destinations in India.
Bonus: The beautiful weather coercing your lazy side to not to climb all the way up to these forts? You can veg out at some of the scenic beaches located at the base of these forts, where you enjoy delicious local seafood such as fish curries and sannas.
Recommended Read – Goa beyond beaches and clubs
2. Hadimba Mandir, Manali
Dedicated to the wife of Bhima, the strongest of the Pandavas, the ancient cave temple of Hadimba at the foot of the Himalayas is surrounded by a lush green cedar forest. It was immortalized in Mani Ratnam’s Roja as the place where Roja loses the love of her life, Rishikumar. Recently, the temple was re-glorified in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani as the place where Bunny tries to explain the futility of the concept of marriage to Naina. Manali is among the top holiday destinations in India and the Bollywood buff in you is sure to come alive when you will pay a visit to this temple.
Bonus: If adventure is what you crave, then you must definitely visit Solang Valley, where you can partake in paragliding, zorbing, horse-riding, and many such activities. The flower-ridden sloping meadows of this valley, which may remind you of the Swiss Alps, demand spreading mats and courting the skies!
3. Rohtang Pass
If you wish to experience the same thrill that Geet and Aditya experienced in the song ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ from Jab We Met, then the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh is where you should head to this summer. This narrow stretch of road, which is often lined by snow several feet high on both sides, is where adrenaline junkies love to drive or ride their bikes on. You will also be treated to the spectacular views of the snow-clad Himalayas while crossing this pass. Sheer drops at the edge of the road that appear out of nowhere are sure to make your heart skip a beat.
Bonus: Another can’t-miss place in Himachal Pradesh is the capital city of Shimla which was the summer capital of the British. The tourist destination is famous for Tudorbethan and neo-Gothic architecture that dots the city. Individuals seeking an authentic adrenaline rush can enjoy the annual MTB Himalaya, which is the biggest mountain biking race in South Asia!
Want to plan a trip to Himachal Pradesh? Take a look at our Himachal holiday packages.
4. Udaipur Palace, Rajasthan
Bollywood is always in search of the perfect untouched destinations to create memorable scenes for its audience. In one such case, filmmakers came across the dipped-in-royalty Udaipur. Movies such as Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Ram Leela made the most of every ounce of charm Udaipur oozes. Soon after, heritage sites of Udaipur, such as the Udaipur Palace, have become popular spots for travel enthusiasts. Be it a destination wedding or a group hang out, these places haven’t stopped garnering the attention they most definitely deserve by being some of the top holiday destinations in India!
Bonus: Chokhi Dhani is the place to go to if you want to experience the vibrant Rajasthani culture. The village resort has a plethora of options to entertain you, such as puppet shows, magic shows, live folk performances, acrobatics, camel rides, elephant rides, etc!
5. Munnar – Among the best holiday destinations in India
The first thing that strikes in your head when we say Kerala is its invariably beautiful backwaters. While resplendent backwaters often make for a sought-after destination for travellers, do not discount the pristine beauty of Munnar Tea Plantations in Kerala! Brought to the audiences’ eyes and minds in Chennai Express, Nishabd, and Life of Pi, it is soon emerging to be the new romantic destination in the country. Being a true-blood Bollywood lover, I would love to wear a lovely Kanjeewaram silk sarees and run against the wind on the winding roads of Munnar!
Bonus: Combining two elements for water babies and animal lovers, this attraction is a top favourite for travellers in Kerala. You can bathe elephants at the Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary! Rates range from Rs. 350 to Rs. 1500 per person, and include activities such as elephant safaris and elephant feeding as well!
Recommended Read – Top 10 hill stations in Kerala
6. Pangong Lake, Ladakh
Does the perfect mirror exist? We think so! Pangong Lake is popular with the Bollywood addicts as the spot where Rancho from 3 Idiots was beaten up by his best friends! In spite of certain weather-related concerns, Ladakh is one of the hot favourite holiday destinations in India. You can’t deny that it’s on your bucket list too, can you? The beauty of this lake and the surrounding bank is bound to leave you utterly mesmerized, and nostalgic of all the times you spent with your best pals.
Bonus: The lake, unfortunately, does not offer boating, but when the winter freezes everything over, you and your braveheart companions can ice skate at the bank of the lake!
Must Read – 10 secrets you did not know about Ladakh
7. Marine Drive, Mumbai
The mothership of Bollywood, Mumbai has seen its fair share of real accounts and true-to-reality stories being conveyed to the audiences. However, one of the spots that get covered a lot in movies and never fails to touch the sensitive side of Mumbaikars is Marine Drive! The popular moment of introspection that often happens around the end of the movie, right in time for the protagonists to realize that the solution was right under their nose the whole time, is one of the most beloved moments in Bollywood. These moments are often coupled with the best soundtracks to complement them. So, get downloading and walk by the Drive with or without your beloved.
Bonus: The city of dreams is a traveller’s haven. From numerous leather markets in Dharavi to the infamous nightlife in Bandra, walk where the roads take you, and you will have the time of your life! If the Bollywood vein runs deep in you, indulge in Film City tours to get up close and personal with where the action takes place!
8. Gulmarg, Kashmir – One of the best holiday destinations in India
Kashmir ki Galliyan have possibly won over more hearts than the actors in numerous movies. These movies have relied upon the lovely snow-capped sights to encapsulate the attentions of the audiences, and successfully so! Bollywood’s love affair with the Kashmir valley starts with Shammi Kapoor singing in the midst of the lake on a Shikara decked with flowers. Gulmarg soon emerged as a crowd and lens favourite. Depending on the season, the green, flower-laden fields, and the snow-clad grounds have glued us to our screens, wishing we were there right at that moment. Movies such as Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Highway, Rockstar, and Haider have only strengthened those feelings!
Bonus: If nature doesn’t excite you as much, stock up on your backpack supplies and take a heritage walk around Old Srinagar. The city is peppered with influences from three different styles and three different religions. Some of the structures in Old Srinagar are over four centuries old too!
9. Mall Road, Shimla
If you want to know what true romance and everlasting love is, look no further than Bollywood’s justified obsession with the charming town of Shimla! A road as vibrant as this has never failed to mesmerize travellers. From old CD and cassette stores to modernized shopping complexes, the street is a favourite for one and all. It also has quite a few restaurants, cafes, and stalls with the tastiest dishes on the menu! Movies such as Bang Bang, Black, Jab We Met, and 3 Idiots have rightfully glorified the road to the nth degree! It deservedly makes it to the list of the top holiday destinations in India!
Bonus: If you wish to be one with nature in Shimla instead, opt for a trip to the Chadwick Waterfall. Cascading down approximately 86m, the waterfall in itself is a sight to behold. It is generously surrounded by Pine and Deodar trees. Did you know that it is called so because the fall is at such a height that only birds can reach!
10. India Gate, Delhi
If you and your gang of friends have been to Delhi and not taken laps of the iconic India Gate to perfect that Rang De Basanti scene, have you even honoured Bollywood at all? Made famous by that scene, and many in many movies such as Jannat 2, Dilli 6, Rockstar, and 3 Idiots, the India Gate serves as the axis of the city! Did you know that the monument took 10 years to build? It was built as a memorial to Undivided Indian Army soldiers who died during World War I. Do you feel those patriotic chills go down your spine?
Bonus: Thursday evenings come alive in Delhi with the mystical Sufi Qawwali sounds at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah. This is, without a doubt, one of the finest cultural experiences you could partake in!
11. Varanasi’s Ghats
The riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganga are the famous Varanasi Ghats. The city has close to 88 Ghats. While most of the applications of the Ghats include bathing and carrying out puja ceremonies, there are some that are exclusively used as cremation sites. In the movie Raanjhanaa, most of the visuals are those of Varanasi, the Ramnagar fort, Assi Ghat, and many other streets of the town!
Bonus: When in Varanasi, be sure to experience the rowing boat rides in the mornings. The views are simply mesmerizing, and the colours enthral and woo your senses.
12. Chamba Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Raw beauty is synonymous with Chamba Valley. The isolated valley is known for attracting temple buffs, trekkers, and scenery addicts. The movie Taal has shown Chamba Valley as the protagonist’s home town. Even though Chamba is shown for a short time, it does not fail to entice viewers into an eternal infatuation with the valley!
Bonus: Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba is one of the major tourist destinations in the entirety of Himachal Pradesh. It is home to more than 8,500 antique pieces, costumes, arms, coins, royal jewellery, and many other such items dipped in art, culture, and history!
13. Amritsar and Wagah Border, Punjab
A city in north-western India, Amritsar is home to the lovely Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) which is the spiritual and cultural centre for the Sikh religion. The shrine attracts more visitors than the Taj Mahal too! The temple sees more than 100,000 visitors on weekdays alone and is the most popular destination for non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the whole country! This love for the destination is reflected in movies such as Veer-Zaara, capturing the entirety of Punjab with its mustard fields, and the lovely shots of Wagah Border as well!
Bonus: No visit to Punjab is complete without a humbling trip to Jallianwala Bagh to be reminded of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives. The stone plaque with the inscription ‘This is the place where the bullets were fired from’ is a bone-chilling experience that brings to light the hard history of our country.
14. Athirappilly Falls, Kerala
The most famous waterfalls of Kerala, Athirappilly Falls are situated in Kerala on the Chalakudy river. It has been nicknamed the Niagara of India. The best scenic visuals of Raavan were gleaned from the Athirappilly Falls and a lot of the forests around the same.
Bonus: When in Kerala, there is no way you can miss taking a tour of the spice plantations in Munnar, Thekkady, or Wayanad. Enjoy the raw, authentic flavours of black pepper, cardamom, cinamon, and exotic vanilla! The price to be privy to these spice gardes is only ₹200!
15. Dakshineswar Kali Temple and Howrah Bridge, Kolkata
Take the Bollywood out of Kolkata if you wish, but you can’t take Kolkata out of Bollywood! The cinematic charm that keeps our filmmakers attracted to this infectious city has helped it survive the Bollywood drought it was in for a bit. Bits and pieces of Kolkata’s beauty have found their way to the big screen. The best examples are the Durga Puja celebrations in Vicky Donor and Kahan, and the lovely tram rides in Barfi.
Bonus: The family mansion of Rabindranath Tagore is, of course, one of the beloved gems of Kolkata. It has become a shrine-like museum for most of India to celebrate the life of the country’s greatest modern poet, adorned with paintings and photographs depicting history in all its glory! A visit is a must.
16. Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
Nahargarh is the iconic fort whose walls resemble the Great Wall of China. Flanked by the beautiful city of Jaipur, the fort was built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Today, the historic fort made cinematic history with the beloved scenes from Rang De Basanti with the protagonists dancing to Masti ki Pathshala.
Bonus: Visit the country’s largest literary festivals that takes place in Jaipur each year. Enchanting readings accompanied with soothing sufi sounds is what bliss feels like!
17. Doraha Fort, near Ludhiana
The Doraha Fort has garnered such a response due to the beautiful scenes of Rang De Basanti where all the guys run in the field and jump as the Indian Air Force jets fly above them. Ever since, the fort is popularly known as the RDB fort. People have rightfully claimed it as a favourite getaway to chill and click plenty photographs. Also, unlike what the movie depicts, there actually isn’t an Indian Air Force base adjoining the fort!
Bonus: The Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum covers an expanse of about our acres, and is as well-known as it is resoected. It has a plethora of galleries displaying various categories of military history and culture. A delight for those who love assimilating information!
18. Wai, Maharashtra
At a distance of about four hours from Mumbai, the village of Wai has been the backdrop of several Bollywood films over the years. Due to its ambiguous look, it is often used to represent some other village in another part of the country. In Dabangg, it was shows an Uttar Pradesh’s Laalganj. In Swades, it was the village Charanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Scenic and flexible, this location is a must-visit!
Bonus: Wai is peppered with forts, caves, and temples, each better than the other. Combine the joys of trekking and exploring in one trip!
19. Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
If you’ve taken a trip to the lovely Kashmir, you know how long it takes the tour guide to list all the movies shot there! Bollywood’s obsession with Kashmir hasn’t gone unnoticed at all. It has accelerated to such an extent that the Betaab Valley in Pahalgam is named after the movie Betaab that was shot there! In recent movies, Kashmir was glorified in all its pristine white beauty in the movie Rockstar.
Bonus: Possibly one of the most adventurous things you will do in Kashmir is river rafting. While it may not sound that adventurous, remember the temperatures fall quite low, and the strong, enjoyable rapids are not a solace!
20. Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
One of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi, Chandni Chowk was built by Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. It was initially divided by canals to reflect the perfect moonlight. It was featured in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Black and White, Chandni Chowk to China, and Delhi-6 abundantly.
Bonus: Delhi is one of those few places in the country where something is always happening somewhere. Plan a day trip and just walk around the city, taking in all of its glory!
There is nothing more romantic than visiting the places where your favourite movie scenes have been shot. The wind slows down, time stands still, and the scene replays in your mind. You relate the scene to your life right now, and you feel a bliss settle around you. Bollywood does that to your dramatic side!
Not sure about these 20 destinations? No worries, our holiday packages in India have a lot in store for you.